I’ve decided to compile a mini SEO vocabulary list, of terms that you should know if you want to learn or understand any SEO.

If you have a basic understanding of what search engine optimization is and how it works, this isn’t going to be very helpful to you…

But I realized that there’s a lot more people that don’t have a clear understanding of what a lot of these terms mean, so I decided to put together this list. This is not an in-depth article on all of these terms, I’ll have more information on each of these in the future.

1. SEO

This is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization which is simply a combination of strategies that make a website show up for certain search phrases.

2. On-page SEO

All search engine optimization strategies that are done on the website itself. This includes the structure of the website, titles, descriptions, the content itself (text, video, audio, image), URLs, etc. (I’ll have an in-depth post on on-page SEO very soon)

3. Off-page SEO

All the search engine optimization strategies that are done off the website. This is primarily linkbuilding (explained below), where you get other websites to refer to you.

4. Keyword

This is simply a phrase that people search for. We say that search terms (what people are searching for) are keywords.

5. Links or Backlinks

A link can be either inbound or outbound (more on this below), and a link is a exactly what it sounds like, it’s a link between pages. If page A links to page B, page B now has a link or backlink (they have the same meaning) from page A.

6. Inbound Link

An inbound link is a link that comes to the page or website. From the previous example, page B has an inbound link from page A.

7. Outbound link

As outbound link is a link that goes out of a page or website. From the example above, page A has an outbound link to page B.

8. Anchor-Text

This is the text of the link. So if link to http://www.google.com and my text is “Google”, then that’s what my anchor text is. I have links all over my posts so this should be pretty easy to understand.

9. Link Building

This is the process of building links to your website. This can either be organic, where people naturally link to your website as a source for great content, or you can go after links by contacting webmasters around the internet. Getting high quality links to your site is very important to rank higher on the search engines.

10. No-follow link

A no-follow link is a link that usually passes no ranking power. So, theoretically getting a link from a Wikipedia page should not have any effect on your rankings.

11. Do-follow link

A do-follow link on the contrary is a link that passes ranking power. Getting a do-follow link means it will have an impact on your search engine rankings (assuming they are good links).

12. Social Signals

When you share your website, videos, images or blog posts on social media they get shares, likes and comments. These are social signals. They will only be connected with your website if these likes and shares are given on a link that you shared.

13. PageRank

PageRank is the website metric developed by Google that told us the authority of a page from Google’s perpective. Google decided to stop updating the PageRank publically over a year ago, so this isn’t a very accurate metric nowadays. Sites were awarded with a PR of 0-10.

14. Domain Authority (by Moz)

When we SEOs talk about DA or domain authority we’re using Moz’s metric. Moz is one of the biggest SaaS SEO companies and they developed an algorithm to determine how authoritative a domain or website is.

15. Page Authority (by Moz)

The PA or page authority is also developed by Moz and it looks at the authority of a specific page of a website, not the whole website like DA. The PA and DA scores go from 1-100.

16. Trust Flow (by Majestic)

The TF or trust flow is a metric by Majestic SEO (another software company) that looks at the quality of the links pointing to a website. A high trust flow means that the website has great links pointing to it, a lower TF means the website has less powerful links (sometimes spammy) linking to its pages.

17. Citation Flow (by Majestic)

The CF or citation flow is also calculated by Majestic and is more concerned with the quantity of the links to a website. We’re usually interested in having the TF score close to the CF. These metrics go from 0-100. (If you’re interested in learning more about the TF and CF, and how they’re calculated follow this link: https://blog.majestic.com/development/flow-metrics/)

18. Click-Through Rate

The click-through rate or CTR is the ratio of people that click on a particular link, over the total number of people who saw the link. This is particularly important for search engine rankings since Google is looking at how many people actually click on your website when they see it. Imagine 100 people search for a particular keyword, and your website shows up for those searches. If only 1 person actually clicks on your website from the search engine results, your CTR is 1% (not good). This is something that Google is always looking at. Having a high CTR is great for SEO.

19. META Title

This is the title of your pages and posts on your site. You have to make sure that you have a META title, because this is exactly what Google and other search engines will show as the title of your pages on their search results

20. META Description

This is the description of your page. The META description is losing importance because people were putting as many keywords as they could. Google now can choose not to show the META description that you choose and just picks up a piece of content from your page. I still create META descriptions for all my pages and posts!

21. META Keywords

Google has said a long time ago that they don’t care about the META keywords, for the same reason that I explained above… This is a section on your META data where you tell Google and other search engines what you’re site is about. It’s not very important right now, the algorithms are intelligent enough to figure out what the content of your page is without the META keywords.

22. ALT Tags

This is for image optimization. You should include an ALT tag on all your pictures. Sometimes an image cannot be displayed and the alt tag will replace the image.

23.  Geo Tags

This is also an image optimization strategy. A geo-tag tells the search engines where your image was taken. This is especially important for local businesses.

24. Business Citation

A business citation is a reference of your business online with a link to your website. If you have a YELP listing or a MANTA page for example, these are business citations. They should always include your NAP.

25. NAP

Name, Address and Phone. These are the 3 main data points that you should try and keep consistent around the web and when creating a business citation for your business (whether that’s on a YELP page or on Facebook).

Hope you enjoyed this list of SEO vocabulary. If you have any questions feel free to comment below and I’ll be sure to reply. I’ll have more blog posts in the future about some of these terms. It’s important to know what they mean, but it’s even more important to know how to use them properly.

About Gonçalo Costa

Co-founder and CEO of Costa Marketing, a web design and digital marketing company founded in the UK, by two Portuguese entrepreneurs. We help businesses all over the world establish a strong online presence.
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